Children’s rights situation analysis

Carrying out a good situation analysis is the best way to make sure that you achieve the desired objectives to fulfill children's rights. It involves collecting the right information to be able to make a sensible assessment of what needs to be done in order to improve the lives of children. It is the essential first step towards establishing priorities and making appropriate choices. A situation analysis creates the basis of assessing progress and evaluating the long-term impact of an intervention.

Understanding the situation of children and young people in your area is not a one-off process. It should be built up over time. It involves mapping the level of rights violations. It also includes an analysis of the underlying causes of the violations of children's rights. Both legislation and its implementation as well as cultural attitudes should be analyzed. Throughout the process the views of children and young people should be consulted and given due consideration. Duty bearers and main actors should be identified.

The analysis should include:

1. An audit of which rights are being violated in the geographical area under examination

  • Which rights are being violated or unfulfilled?
  • Which groups of children are most affected by the problem?
  • What are the causes (immediate, underlying, fundamental) of the rights violations?

1. Study Government policies:
Examples:

  • Economic development strategies
  • Social development strategies

2. Analyse laws, their enforcement and application:
Examples:

  • Child Poverty
  • Child abuse and violence
  • Juvenile justice
  • Citizenship

3. Analyse sector policies and programmes:
Examples:

  • Social welfare
  • Health
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Poverty alleviation

4. Examine allocation of resources and budgets and compare these against national/international agreements and commitments

5. Study behaviours, beliefs, practices and attitudes ("culture")

6. Understand the views and experiences of children

7. Disaggregate all data by: age, gender, geographic origin, ethnicity,etc

2. A responsibility analysis

  • Who are the main duty bearers? What are their responsibilities?
  • What are the opportunities and facilitating factors for the duty bearers to fulfill their responsibilities?
  • What are the obstacles that prevent duty bearers from meeting their obligations?
  • How can the obstacles be overcome?

Analyse obligations of duty bearers, institutional mechanisms and responsibilities:
Examples:

  • Care givers
  • Families
  • Service providers
  • Government departments
  • Law makers
  • Private sector
  • NGOs and CBOs
  • Media

3. Decide on your priority actions and who to work with

  • What are the priorities for action for your organisation?
  • What are the objectives for these actions?
  • Which organisations and departments can you work with? Who are your allies?

Priority for interventions will depend on:

  • Severity and frequency of violation
  • Political support
  • Organisational policy as well as capacity, experience, logistics, availability of funding
  • Effectiveness and reasonable benefits for invested costs.

A SWOC analysis could be carried out (Strengths and Weaknesses of the organisation as well as Opportunities and Constraints of the external environment).